Saturday, April 10, 2010

Empire of Illusion

Acting, politics, and sports have become, as in Nero's reign, interchangeable. - Empire of Illusions

I recently read Empire of Illusions by Pulitzer prize–winning author Chris Hedges. I found it quite horrifying to read about aspects of our culture from wrestling to porn to universities to corporations to politics. (As you may have gathered by now, I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of our current society!)

With our access to so much information these days, there's a danger of only looking at stuff you agree with. And, like hiring people who will always agree with you, it's not very helpful. I know I'm susceptible to this to a certain degree. But I like to think I'm open to anything that's objective and has some scientific basis. That's a bias too, I guess, but it's not one I'm quite ready to give up on.

More and more I think the United States is on it's way down a major decline. It's easy to say "they're so big and powerful, that can never happen". But every other empire has declined in the end, with similar signs portending their demise. Refusing to admit this possibility is a bit like saying "I know every one else dies eventually, but not me, I'm going to live forever".

Of course, that raises the question of what's going to happen to Canada. We're closely tied to the USA and we have many of the same problems. But in other ways we're quite different. In any case, it's hard to imagine it not having major affects on us.

Anyway, if you don't mind being horrified, I would definitely recommend the book.

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